The American Bar Association Letter to the Senate About Barrett Is Going to Upset Some Democrats

Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP

 

The American Bar Association, known for rating judicial appointments prior to their confirmations, has issued a letter to the US Senate Judiciary Committee to offer their rating for Judge Amy Coney Barrett and Democrats will not be too happy about it.

The ABA, which Chuck Schumer has previously identified as the “Gold Standard” of judicial ratings, has rated Barrett as “well-qualified” for her nomination to the United States Supreme Court.

“The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary has completed its evaluation of the professional qualifications of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who has been nominated by the President to be an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States.  As you know, the Standing Committee confines its evaluation to the qualities of integrity, professional competence, and judicial temperament.  A substantial majority of the Standing Committee determined that Judge Barrett is “Well Qualified,” and a minority is of the opinion that she is “Qualified” to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States.  The majority rating represents the Standing Committee’s official rating.”

“Well Qualified.”  That certainly is going to fly in the face of many of the attacks you can expect from Democrats in the coming weeks as Barrett advances to confirmation.  This follows the same pattern for both Justice Kavanaugh and Justice Gorsuch, both of whom were rated “Well Qualified” by the ABA as well.  Both Justices Kagan and Sotomayor also received “Well-Qualified” ratings from the ABA.

This is likely to ruffle some feathers with Democrats, who would have liked some way of delaying or disqualifying Barrett’s confirmation to SCOTUS.  Fortunately, it will push Barrett’s nomination further to certainty as Democrats have accepted these ratings in the past as legitimate and helpful.